Overcoming Negative Attitudes – 7 Strategies

Research indicates that attitudes matter in the workplace. Not just because negativity is generally harmful, but because it costs the organization money. Researchers Donald O. Clifton Ph.D. and Tom Rath, in their work “How Full is Your Bucket? Positive Strategies For Work and Life” (2007), studied the effects of positivity on people and businesses and noted that a positive attitude improved profitability. Positive employees are more productive, get better responses from customers, have better safety records, and are more engaged at work. On the other hand, people who have a negative attitude cost the organization money through wasted time, scaring customers, have more frequent injuries, illness, turnover and absenteeism. (Source: Organizational Behavior, Carrell, Jennings, Heavrin, 2006).

1. Work on Your Personal Foundation: Finances, Relationships, Environment, Spirituality, and Health. Make an improvement in one of these areas immediately.

2. Stop Listening to that Little Negative Voice. Counter-punch the negative self-talk with substantial doses of positive self-talk.

3. Look for alternative explanations to the negative ones you are now using.

4. Moods are contagious, both positive and negative. Instead of speaking to someone who is negative, try speaking with someone who is known for having a positive attitude or mood.

5. Control your first instinct to respond to something said to you with a negative attitude. Try this instead: Remain calm or simply excuse yourself from the conversation.

6. Stop Looking Back – look forward instead. Your vision of each event is entirely up to you.

7. Watch with great care who you hang out with. Ask yourself “what are they doing for me?” “What have they got me saying?” “Where do they have me going?” “What do they have me thinking?” “What do they have me becoming?”

(Source: Adapted from “Top 7 Strategies to Overcome Negative Attitudes in the Workplace”, Chuck Bauer, 2004)

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